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Fiber Can Help Fight Diabetes! Part II

Updated on October 17, 2009

Snacks can help to fortify fiber intake. Pass up the pretzels and cheese curls, opting for popcorn, baked corn chips, and nuts instead. If calories are a concern, be sure to modify your intake appropriately. Baked corn chips provide the same fiber as the fried, but the fat content which is usually 1-3 grams as opposed to 6-8 grams in the fried is significantly less.

Of course fruit and veggies, as well as their 100% juice forms, are always great snack choices. Keep in mind, however, that most commercially available juices, while excellent sources of fluids, are generally less rich in fiber. For those willing to take the time and effort, juice can be made at home from whole fruit and vegetables. Depending on the ingredients added, a more concentrated fiber source can be made.

Remember that if you shell out hundreds of dollars for a high quality, extremely powerful juicer / extractor, much of the fiber will be left in the filter of the machine, not in the juice where it belongs!

If Mexican food is one of your favorites (and it definitely is one of mine), you're in luck. Perhaps committing to at least one bean-based meal per week will help to get your fiber numbers up into the desired range.

Pasta lovers will find that whole-wheat pasta provides double the fiber of its white flour cousin. Similarly, brown rice is superior to white with regard to fiber. Wild rice is also a good fiber source, but is way too expensive for everyday use.

Whatever means you choose to increase your fiber, be sure to do so gradually. Ease into it to avoid excess gas and bloating. While fiber is often recommended to relieve constipation, remember that it can cause constipation if not coupled with adequate fluid intake. You should drink no less than two litres of water per day, and I usually strive for at least four litres.

If gas is a problem, you might want to check into one of the over-the counter aids, such as Beano. Charcoal capsules have also been recommended for alleviating gas. Spread your fiber throughout the day as opposed to having it all at one sitting, and chew your food thoroughly. Gas can be the result of gulping food, drinking carbonated beverages, and chewing gum.

Read your labels, but don't try to become fiber-savvy in one trip! Label reading can be a tedious process, so concentrate on one or two items per trip. You might want to begin by checking out some of the brands you already use. Then compare your brand with one or two others. Beware of making assumptions about "other brands" based on the information on another brand's label. In other words, don't assume that because one brand of product contains a certain number of grams of fiber, that all brands will contain the same amount. Also, check out the size serving listed on which the nutrition information is based. One brand may list a half-cup serving size while another brand lists one cup.

So, what new fiber item will you incorporate this week? Regardless of your choice, you're taking one more step toward a longer and healthy life! Congratulations!

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